By Heidi Trautmann
I sat in the first row for this late autumn concert in Bellapais Abbey. Usually the first row is reserved for special guests who have promised to come but this time I wanted to sit very close to see the hands work on the keys, the hands of five students of Rauf Kasimov: Erol Emmioğlu, Ceren Cenk, Selen Mesutoğlu, Süley Özden and Fikri Toros.
I am always fascinated to see these hands, no, the whole body enter an affair with the piano, some more passionate, some a little reserved. Whatever the age of the person sitting down on the stool, there is an obvious metamorphosis taking place. With some players I can see the experience in the relationship, they become one with this wonderful instrument, others are a little more careful, obedient to the music, a little stiff.
In the row behind me sat the parents of Erol Emmioğlu and I saw the pride in their eyes shine when their son sat down to play pieces by J.S. Bach, L.van Beethoven and U.C. Erkin. A young man, just 14 years old, we have all been following up during the last years. A most promising talent, very strong. Where will he go from here. He has determination.
Ceren Cenk, 17 years old, is also a very sensitive and experienced piano player, and I loved to hear from her L.van Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in three parts. I have heard her twice this year.
Selen Mesutoğlu in her early 20s, a young woman who has graduated in communications and graphic design, but has a great passion for music; we enjoyed her performance and conversation with F.Chopin very much.
Süley Özden a young lady, whose name is new to me, came up with a very demanding programme with J.Haydn, Chopin, Shedrin and Mozart; during her good performance she all at once had a little problem but overcame it courageously. Our hearts went up to her and extra applause from the audience thanked her.
To have talent is not enough, the young musicians must gain experience to play in front of an audience and Rauf Kasimov, their teacher, knows about it and he is always eager to create the necessary occasions for his students.
After the interval where we all had to have a glass of wine hoping to warm up a little because the evening had turned out very chilly, Fikri Toros whose love belongs entirely to music, gave his performance with pieces by Bach, Mozart and Chopin. He is an experienced very careful and sensitive piano player and is very active in many music groups, such as Cypress Classica, although he only started to practice piano playing late in his life, in 1997 only, but he had the best teachers so far. He is a member of the Cypriot Turkish Philharmonic orchestra, and with his good voice he participates in the Kyrenia Chamber Choir.
With Dvorak and Mozskowski, Rauf Kasimov and Fikri Toros ended the lovely evening four-handed.
….and when we came out, I heard the people cry out loud with joy: Yamur var, it rains; a good rain and lovely music what more can we expect from life here in Cyprus!